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Americans have a day off, sort of

The Americans will have their first Friday off since Nov. 5 (no, Dec. 24 does not count) — nine straight weeks for those keeping track.

There may be no game Friday, but that doesn't mean the boys get the day off. In fact, the veterans will skate in the morning, there will be team practice in the afternoon, and then the players will head to U.S. Cellular in Kennewick (across from the mall) for a meet and greet with fans from 5-7 p.m.

Bring those trading cards you've been getting at the games and get them autographed. Bring your camera for photos with your favorite player. It's not often you can corral them all in one place.

Come Saturday the Everett Silvertips roll into town, followed by the Kelowna Rockets on Sunday. All Sunday games have a skate with the Americans session following the game.

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The Spokane Chiefs got a little love in this week's CHL poll, making the honorable mention list. The Portland Winterhawks, who were once ranked as high as second, have completely fallen off the map.

The Saint John Sea Dogs remain No. 1, followed by Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, Quebec Remparts, Saskatoon Blades, Montreal Juniors, Saginaw Spirit, Kootenay Ice, Gatineau Olympiques, Red Deer Rebels and Niagara IceDogs.

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Brayden Schenn, for whom the Saskatoon Blades leveraged the future for, has been cleared to play. The Blades, who handed over two first-round bantam picks, a second-round pick, a first-round import draft pick and a couple of players to the Brandon Wheat Kings for Schenn at the trade deadline, have waited more than two weeks to get the star of the World Junior Championship in their lineup. A shoulder injury suffered at the WJC has kept him on the bench.

Schenn will make his debut with the Blades on Saturday against against the Calgary Hitmen. It is reported that he will skate on a line with Curtis Hamilton and Jake Trask.

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One WHL player had his truck stolen on Wednesday afternoon. Read about this incident right here.

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